CAEP Voices: North Carolina State University College of Education


So we think there’s tremendous value in having a set of common standards that all institutions can work towards. The idea of being a profession is built around a set of requirements or expectations that all campuses, regardless of the size or type, can actually work towards. So being CAEP accredited is important to our institutions, important to the campus, because it becomes a seal of quality to some degree that we’ve actually engaged in a rigorous process of self assessment. As EPPs start to think about the CAEP process, they need to answer one question, which is, “Do we produce good teachers and how do we know?” And then from there they need to look at their strengths. So you look at their data, their evidences, what makes them unique, and then craft their story around that, and not the other way where you start with the CAEP standards and try and shoehorn your way into those standards, but rather start from your own place where you know your story and tell that story. One of the issues for me is I’m the data person, and so we have all these additional programs, co curricular activities, and they produce a lot of data. And so, for me, one of my roles is to make that data collection efficient. And so we do have a lot of data, but we have to figure out what’s most important and how to triangulate all the data together so that it tells a good story. And I think the important note there is this idea that, although we have access to this large quantity, we’ve been very thoughtful about both the type of data we collect and then how we use it, because as Malina mentioned, our goal is to triangulate our data. So when we went through our CAEP visit, we actually had gone through our prior NCATE visit, had over 300 evidences. We went through our CAEP visit and cut it to 32 evidences, which people find or are just amazed at this idea that we can have so few, but the real power is not in the number of evidences, but how you triangulate that data. So we’re able to then think about, “Okay so what does our beginning teacher tell us about the quality of our preparation? And so what does that in conjunction with, perhaps an employer survey and a graduate survey and a performance on something like the edTPA, how can we collect these different data points and all point them in one direction about both areas of strength, but more importantly, areas of improvement?” So that’s what’s important to us. One of the really interesting things, it’s not from the student perspective, it’s from the faculty perspective, is by doing annual reporting where we triangulate the data for programs, faculty have really found a way to realize their own value. I think a lot of the time they thought, “Well I know we produce good teachers,” but if you ask them why, they would say, “Well, I just know because the students in my class are good.” But then we provide data for them and say, “This is how good they are.” And then they’re able to see it and they’re able to think about that in a very different way. And so, for me, seeing faculty really embrace that continuous improvement model has been really great because we’ve had some faculty that really were not happy about moving to new standards and thinking about that process, and now they’re the cheerleaders in the group that are like, “Oh yeah, I see why my students are so great and now I can tell people why and have data to support that.” So that’s been a really great change.

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